Editor’s Notes

Friday, May 2, 2008

Consumers aren’t helpless against the plunder of Big Oil
Join No Gas Fridays and renew your sense of self respect

‘Unfortunately we have leaders of the stuff of play dough. All being manipulated by the same corporate bullies that Theodore Roosevelt scorned and bridled.’ 

The No Gas Friday campaign by True North Perspective seems like a puny act by individual consumers. It calls to mind the words from an ancient American union song: No force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one; but the Union makes us strong.


As long as the consumer remains passive under the ruthless assault on their pocket books, and more and more on their daily bread, the new Robber Barons, and their speculator allies on Wall Street and in servile governments, will laugh all the way to the bank and back. They just don’t care about the human suffering they cause. In their comfortable offices away from the street they live in a serene secure world and are oblivious to the hardship they cause.


Only when they feel it in the pocket book will they take notice. And so with the governments that have itchy hands to take in all they can from the growing taxes the higher prices produce.


There’s no help to come from Big Oil, from the speculators who send the price up every time a dog barks, or from government.


It is entirely up to the consumer to stop the pillaging. There is no good will that you can count on. Just pure unmitigated selfishness. 


Government could prevent this assault on the good and welfare of the citizens they are supposed to represent. I have pointed before to Canada’s War Time Prices and Trade Board that went a long way to control the greedy during World War II. It worked then. Everyone made money as the standard of living rose.


Government could act today by controlling the avaricious speculators who behave hysterically to our disadvantage at the slightest suggestion of trouble. In the national interest, because oil is a finite natural resource, government could put the speculators out of business and compel Big Oil to behave like responsible corporate citizens.


It was done long before Canada’s World War II decision to rein-in the soulless profiteers in the national interest.


An interesting example is that of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt who about one hundred years ago broke the Northern Securities merger of 1901 that created the greatest transport combine in the world to that time. The combine controlled commerce from Chicago to China.


Roosevelt won instant glory as the champion of American individual enterprise against corporate "malefactors of great wealth." He was no socialist or anarchist. He privately believed in Big Business and was just as wary of unrestrained, amateurish competition. All he wanted to establish, early in his first term, was government's right to regulate rampant entrepreneurship


He had been passionate about monopoly from the moment he entered politics.


Were he alive today Theodore Roosevelt would use the power of the White House to protect the environment. His earliest surviving letter, written at age 10, mourns the cutting down of a tree, and he went on to become America's first conservationist President, responsible for five new national parks, 18 national monuments and untold millions of acres of national forest. Without a doubt, he would react toward the great swaths of farmland that are now being carbuncled over with "development" as he did when told that no law allowed him to set aside a Florida nature preserve at will.


He said, I know of no law that would prevent me and took pen in hand.


Today neither in Canada nor in the United States do we have leaders with that kind of foresight and courage. Unfortunately we have leaders of the stuff of play dough. All being manipulated by the same corporate bullies that Theodore Roosevelt scorned and bridled.


It’s said that people get the leaders they deserve. Surely we deserve better than what we’ve got. Stop cringing under the blows of the Oil Barons and their partners in crime, the speculators. Stand up and start by deciding to buy No Gas on Friday and every Friday. Let it be a first step in the restoration of your dignity. No picket lines or any other kind of public demonstration that you may be too embarrassed to support. Just don’t buy gas on Fridays. If enough people don’t buy, the powers that be in government will find the courage to act on our behalf. Bullies are only as strong as you allow them.


Meanwhile, take it easy…bur take it.


Looking forward


Carl Dow

Editor and Publisher

True North Perspective


Please find below in my Editor’s Notes of Monday, November 12. 2007, a prediction that the upward price spurts would seriously raise the platform of public gouging by Big Oil and their allies on Wall Street, and in government. My argument for control of prices still stands.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Editor’s Notes

Canada has a choice: move now to secure oil benefits
or allow big oil to get it all and leave us looking like idiots


The $100-barrel of oil is not a spike. It represents a general rise in the price of oil. It’s causing a global shift in economic and political power. Canada has the world’s second or third largest reserve of oil, depending on who’s counting, and how. Ottawa must fulfill its mandate to govern on behalf of all Canadians by preventing Big Oil from treating our country like the global proverbial village idiot.


Public control of a natural resource is not a wild-eyed socialist fantasy. Saudi Arabia, a conservative theocracy, nationalized its oil industry. Circa 1920 a Conservative government established Ontario Hydro to rationalize the development and distribution of electric power. Alberta has sensibly moved to increase its cut of the take. Next door in Alaska, the state in September raised the annual oil dividend paid to every man, woman and child living there for a year to $1,654, an increase of $547 from last year.


The resource is finite. Let’s hope that when it’s gone, Canada won’t be standing there with a bemused slap-head grin watching money-bloated Big Oil waddle off to the bank. It’s time Ottawa took a long view of the situation and came to the obvious conclusion.


We offer an excellent up-dater on the subject by The Washington Post. Also reprinted is my thesis on True North No Gas Fridays. And then for fun we have an imagined conversation between Vladmir Putin and George W. Bush who are required to tell the truth.


Because of logistical problems True North will publish skeleton issues today and Wednesday. Followed by a muscle-and-bone edition on Friday.


Looking forward


Carl Dow

Editor and Publisher

True North Perspective